During these tough times of Covid-19 many restaurants and fast food stores are limited to takeout or outdoor dining only. One place in particular that can stay open during these times are food trucks. If you are on the go and want some freshly made chicken and waffles, your best bet is “Chicken and Waffles on Wheels” located at 476 Broadway in Paterson New Jersey.
Recently I spoke with owner and founder Everett Hynes (also known as Mr. Chicken and Waffles) about how he got started in the business.
Dan Flores (DF): How did you get started in the business?
Mr. Chicken and Waffles (MCW): I started at my mom’s house and from there I started at one of my close friend’s car wash, “Jays Car wash.” A year later I had saved up $2000 and bought this food truck off of “Letgo.” I invested all my money into the business and learned how to pay myself.
DF: Why did you choose chicken and waffles as your business?
MCW: I wanted to stand out in a way that was different. There were multiple food trucks out there but they were all doing seafood or southern food. I wanted to do a specific food that stood out by itself. Something different that captivates breakfast, lunch, and late nights.
DF: Food trucks have become popular as of late. Why did you want to do a food truck instead of a regular store front?
MCW: I was infatuated with food trucks since early 2010. I felt like you are more mobile when you have a food truck or food cart. Being mobile you can be anywhere anytime. I can go to them if they cannot come to me.
DF: A few celebrities such as rappers Fetty Wap and Fabulous have tried your chicken. How did you meet them and what have they said about your chicken?
MCW: Every year I do a nonprofit giving back to the community and feeding the homeless right before Thanksgiving with a bunch of other food trucks. That was probably the third or fourth time I met Fetty Wap. I gave him a plate and he became hooked. Recently I posted a video on my Instagram of one of my chicken and waffle plates with a Fabulous song in the background. That same day he saw the post and reached out to me. A few days later I went out to him and brought him a plate.
DF: How has Covid-19 affected your business?
MCW: Covid-19 did two things for my business. The first thing it did was teach me how to manage my money even better. I was able to sell my second food cart to someone to help start their dream. The second thing Covid-19 did for me was grow my business even more due to everybody needing in and out service instead of dining in.
DF: What is next for your food truck?
MCW: As of next month I should be opening up my second food truck and after that working on franchising to other states and towns.